Our Souvenir project for Create London

Tuesday 22 May 2012

CREATE Souvenirs
A CREATE commission
CREATE has commissioned designer and online retailer Thorsten van Elten to work with five designers: Barnaby Barford, Ed Carpenter, André Klauser, Dominic Wilcox and Donna Wilson to create well-considered souvenirs, all made in the UK. The designs include a series of three exercise books that illustrate some of the best places to exercise, a cast iron multi-purpose paperweight/bookend/doorstop based on Regent’s Canal mooring bollards made in a local foundry and a series of ceramic miniature east London landmark houses and shops. They will draw on the heritage of east London and be the desirable antidote to the overly-commercial, tacky souvenirs on sale across London this summer. On sale in select shops and online via the CREATE website from 21 June.
Here's a sneaky peak at our one- and due to launch just in time for the olympics!!

Swimmer, Gymnast and Cyclist exercise books, with a map of some selected east London parks and places to cycle,swim or do gymnastics! They will come in s set of three, so we'll let you know when they are available.


CREATE brings inspiring, engaging art and performance to hundreds of thousands of people. By building virtuous circles between artists, creative organisations and locals, we strive to nurture and grow the creative ambitions of our community.
We bring art out of traditional spaces and into east London’s parks, playgrounds, rooftops and tucked-away places. CREATE invites people to explore the city every summer and to jump feet-first into the extraordinary projects and performances they encounter. We commission and produce work by emerging local artists and established international figures, and bring our young residents behind the scenes with a programme of workshops, skills development and job placements.
Our conviction is in the power of art to offer new perspectives on community life, provoking healthy debate and encouraging constructive change and social progress. In a part of London with the highest concentration of artists and creative businesses in Europe, but some of the lowest levels of cultural engagement, we work to bridge traditional divides of class, education and social background with art that is ambitious, exciting and joyful.
CREATE is proud to have worked with Assemble, Jason Bruges, Caught by the River, Duckie, Punchdrunk, Sukhdev Sandhu, Joshua Sofaer, Something & Son, Somewhere To, Michael Smith, Station House Opera, Studio Weave, Gavin Turk, Richard Wentworth, You Me Bum Bum Train and Theodore Zeldin.
To find out more go to http://createlondon.org

Sheltering From The Rain Show - Tokyo

Monday 21 May 2012

I'm delighted to announce my solo show at Trico in Tokyo this June. 
It's rainy season in Japan, so we've called it Sheltering From The Rain.
The show will be a mixture of illustrations- some of you may have seen my #owladay, #foxaday and now #squirreladay on Twitter!
As well as new knitted trees, rain, new creatures and one-off pieces of wrapped Ercol furniture.
Here are the opening details:

Sheltering From The Rain

Donna Wilson Exhibition in Tokyo, June 2012 

Venue: (Trico Showroom 2F) Gallery  

6 - 24 June
Opening Times: 12:00 to 18:00
Closed on Wednesday  

Admission: Free 
Trico International 03-3532-1901: Contact info@bytrico.com

Here is the press release for the show:

Donna Wilson is coming to Japan this June! Three-dimensional work, newly produced illustrations, hand-wrapped furniture collaborations with the company Akoru. Donna Wilson will be presenting the full tactile, beauty of her textile world. During the exhibition, guests can purchase limited edition prints which will be signed by Donna during the show.
 Invitation to the opening party for those who are members of the Trico website, we invite you to the reception party held on Friday 8th June. For those who wish to attend, take this opportunity to register, free at www.bytrico.comFrom the screen after login, go to [shelter] reception party invitations. Please bring your invitation with you on your mobile phone or printed on paper

After that I will be embarking on a 16 day tour of Japan, signing prints, if you're nearby please pop in to say hello. Here are the dates and places:

Donna Wilson Japan tour 

signing session is from 14:00-16:00 at the each deparment store.

/6(W)日本橋高島屋 Tokyo, Nihonnbasi Toakashimaya 

/7(T)新宿伊勢丹 Tokyo, Shinjyuku Isetan 

/8(F)玉川高島屋 Tokyo,Tamagawa Toakashimaya 
/9(S)仙台三越 Sendai, Mitsukosi 
/10(S福岡三越Fukuoka, Mitsukosi
/13(W)いよてつ髙島屋Matsuyama, Toakashimaya
/14(T)広島福屋駅前店 Hiroshima,Fukuya
/16(S)京都伊勢丹Kyoto, Isetan
/17(S名古屋髙島屋Nagoya, Toakashimaya
/18(M)大阪髙島屋Osaka, Toakashimaya
/19(T)立川伊勢丹Tokyo,Tachikawa Isetan 

Phew! I'm so excited to be seeing the country like this, a big perk of the job!!

I saw an elephant this morning

Sunday 20 May 2012

Look what I stumbled upon this morning, on my way to the (Orla sample sale on Brick lane!)
a beautiful hand made paper elephant !

I learned from these nice people that it is Bangladeshi New Year today!

 I watched the parade walking down Brick lane, it was so beautiful and brightly coloured.

Love the giant tiger heads 

 especially these paper peacocks
 so cute!

Happy Bangladeshi New Year!! x

Edith's Fishermen's 'Gansey's

Monday 14 May 2012

 Last Weekend I went to Scotland to visti my family, and visited  the Portsoy Salmon Bothy where my sister works.  I met a lovely lady called Edith who knitted Fishermen's Guernsey's (fisherman's sweaters/jumpers/jerseys!)
I was totally intrigued- these Guernsey's take about three months to knit, because of all the different stitches and finest needles used. They are knitted on the round with three needles, and no side seams! Very dense and weatherproof.

 Each Guernsey had different patterns depending on the wearer and which town they were from, some had marriage lines. I think the above one is a Portsoy patterns and the one below is Peterhead (could be wrong there)
Traditionally they had shorter arms, as the bottom part of their arms would frequently get wet with sea water, and they were longer than jumpers now, so that their backs wouldn't get cold.
Here's an old picture of the fisherman's wives who knitted them whilst waiting for their husbands to come back from sea, they were knitted with a lot of love.
The also knitted thick long johns, with a piece of cotton stitched in around the top... I'd like a pair of these!

Edith does take on commissions, but not too many as they are a lot of work, but the good news is, she's going to write a book about the history, the stories and tales and the knitting patterns. I'll let you know when it comes out.

For more information about the salmon bothy go to www.salmonbothy.org.uk

Collect at Saatchi gallery- still one day left!

yesterday I went to Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, which is a show of contemporary crafted objects. Different Galleries from around the world take stands there to show the fantastic work they represent.
The quality was fantastic, There's one day left of the show- so still time!
here are a couple of things I liked.

 Peter Marigold shelves, and really funny chess set made from selected bits of tree!
 Max Lamb- table and Chair

 Simon Jones showing work he did for Fogo Island- stacking Chairs and tressle legs.

 Ismini Saminidou beautiful woven hangings

 Katy Hackney- painted wood and silver jewellery

 Sorry I don't have everyone's name, but there is a lot of amazing jewellery, ceramics, textiles and more and nice to seethings presented in such a special way giving the pieces the importance they deserve.
well worth a visit.